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Question:

From Connecticut, USA:

In a recent review of diabetes research and information from other countries, I stumbled across some data relevant to the honeymoon period. My son was diagnosed 7 months ago at the age of 8. The only signs he exhibited were extreme thirst and excessive urination. As of today he takes 2 units of Regular and 2 of the long lasting in the morning and in the evening. His average is about 130. We test twice daily now because of the honeymoon period although we were testing 4 - 5 times daily on onset. While reading through some material, I noticed that nicotinamide, which I believe to be our form of niacin or niacinamide, may prolong the honeymoon period. This came from a group of physicians outside our country and that some research has been conducted. Any comments? We are trying a vitamin (niacin and niacinamide) daily, 100 mg each.

Additionally, any research for those in the honeymoon stage in regard to their islets? Since in that stage the pancreas is producing its own insulin and there must be some healthy islets left can't those healthy ones be cloned for transplantation so the body won't reject them?

Answer:

Nicotinamide is what is known as a "free radical scavenger," that is to say it controls certain oxygen containing molecules that are produced as a part of inflammation and which damage cells. Vitamins E and C also have this property. A good many years ago it was discovered that nicotinamide could prevent diabetes in the NOD mouse, an animal that was especially susceptible to an autoimmune type of diabetes resembling Type 1 in man. There were several trials to see if it would prolong the honeymoon period; but the results were uniformly disappointing.

There is some evidence however from New Zealand that nicotinamide given to children at high risk of diabetes, i.e., that have antibodies, will delay insulin dependance for several years in about two thirds of susceptible cases if it is given before the development of clinical diabetes. There are also two big studies -- ENDIT in Europe and CANENDIT in Canada -- that are trying to confirm this work.

At this stage all the evidence is that nicotinamide will not help your son, and I would stop niacin, which is nicotinic acid, and which can sometimes produce some unpleasant side effects especially skin flushing.

DO'B

Original posting 26 Jul 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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